Transforming Your Talent Partnership

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As we scramble to close the gap between the IT demand and talent supply in our own companies, a microcosm of the national IT gap, it is easy to lose sight of the transformational power of what we do: Our business is putting people to work to fuel the economy. This reality offers a much more productive, enthusiastic and powerful light than where we tend to live on a day-to-day basis.

Hiring managers and their talent partners have an opportunity — and greater need than ever — to transform the quality and effectiveness of our relationships. Here are three changes I believe can lead to transformation in 2014.

1. Focus on Quality over Quantity. It is counter intuitive in a highly competitive IT market that putting requirements in front of more talent sources doesn’t result in more or better talent options. In fact, the best way to find the resources you need is to invest in building strategic relationships with a few trusted talent partners with whom you define clear performance expectations. Correspondingly, your talent partners are responsible to ensure they understand your requirements, and qualify candidates rigorously to maximize your time.

2. Make Right the New Best. It’s not always necessary or advisable to place the best IT talent for every position. Your talent partner can help you parse a job’s requirements to prioritize the most essential skillsets and define a qualification level that meets your budget. To ensure the best results, it’s equally important that hiring managers acknowledge and support compensation recommendations commensurate with the job and the market.

3. Remember that People are Our Product. Both hiring managers and their IT talent partners must be mindful that our commerce is human. That open position represents a potentially life-changing career opportunity for the right candidate, and the specific requirements can significantly impact a person’s lifestyle and satisfaction. The sheer volume tends to dull the senses. This year, let’s commit on both sides to remember there is a person at the center of each transaction.